Ministry of Health: ‘Keep contact to a minimum to stop the third wave’
The Spanish Government is not beating around the bush and are already beginning to prepare the population for the blow of a third wave of coronavirus, which the Ministry of Health believes could be much worse than the second, because the starting point for this new onslaught of infections and the pressure on the hospital system is much higher than when the escalation of the second wave began in summer.
Across Spain, the data is bad, the incidence rates are high, hospital pressure is extreme, and the positivity rate of PCR tests and the number of people dying is increasing.
"Very hard weeks are coming," Salvador Illa warned this weekend shortly after Spain reached two million infections and the country passed an IA14 of 300, a level that places Spain as a whole beyond the limit of a ‘critical situation’, and all this while waiting for the 'Christmas effect' and the 'British strain' to show their virulence in the statistics.
“If we are honest, we all know what we have to do. Reduce contact with other people, and reduce mobility as much as possible. They are the two keys to lowering infections, "said the minister.
“The pandemic is evolving for the worse in Spain. The number of new cases will continue to grow, as will the pressure on hospitals, so it is very important that mobility and contacts be reduced to the maximum and that the measures that are being dictated by the health authorities of the different regional Governments are strictly applied and adhered to," he insisted.
Illa reminded that the Government believes that the current regulatory framework that sets the state of alarm, approved on October 25th (which allows perimeter confinement but not home confinement), is sufficient for the regional Governments to control this new onslaught of the virus as they did with the second wave.
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However, the Minister of Health reiterated the importance that, beyond the measures implemented by the autonomous communities, it is up to citizens to reduce their mobility and social contacts. "If this is not done, this increase in cases will be doubled again, as it already happened in the second wave," he added. “We do not want to implement a national lockdown, so it is now up to citizens themselves to comply so that it is not necessary.”
There was no criticism from the central Government to some regions that, even though they have the most cases and highest incidence rates, they haven’t approved new restrictions on movements or social contacts. In fact, in general Illa applauded the measures of the autonomous communities, saying: “I would like to remind you that we are in a state of alarm, which allows the autonomous governments to take the measures they consider necessary.”
“There is maximum concern about the evolution of the pandemic in our country. The measures by the competent delegated authorities are very important, but compliance with these measures is even more important. There is no point having restrictions if people don’t follow them", said the Minister.